"Why can't Mass be
performed before a certain time on the weekend, for instance not before 5pm on
Answer / Resources:
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Mass can be celebrated
before 5 p.m. on Saturday (e.g. Saturday morning Mass). Therefore, I assume you
are wondering why Mass must be celebrated after a certain time on Saturday to
meet your Sunday obligation. Assuming I understand you correctly, please keep in
Third Commandment: "Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day." This day, in
the New Covenant, is Sunday. You couldn't meet your Sunday obligation on a
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. because these days are not "the Lord's Day."
The Church has, however, made a provision to allow Saturday Masses after a
certain time to meet that obligation. As Pope John Paul II explained (concerning
Novus Ordo liturgy)...
faithful are obliged to attend Mass unless there is a grave impediment, Pastors
have the corresponding duty to offer to everyone the real possibility of
fulfilling the precept. The provisions of Church law move in this direction, as
for example in the faculty granted to priests, with the prior authorization of
the diocesan Bishop, to celebrate more than one Mass on Sundays and holy days,
the institution of evening Masses and the provision which allows the obligation
to be fulfilled from Saturday evening onwards, starting at the time of First
Vespers of Sunday. From a liturgical point of view, in fact, holy days begin
with First Vespers. Consequently, the liturgy of what is sometimes called the
'Vigil Mass' is in effect the 'festive' Mass of Sunday, at which the celebrant
is required to preach the homily and recite the Prayer of the Faithful."
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